Implementing sustainable land use systems to contribute to forest conservation, climate protection (REDD+) and the peace-building process in Colombia
As of: July 2020
Objective and activities
Forests are important for biodiversity and they also have a major role to play as carbon reservoirs. However, ecosystems are often threatened by the expansion of land use. The project therefore promotes sustainable land use systems, with the focus on the agricultural sector (e.g. cattle farming). It is oriented on farmers in areas which have been identified as priority areas for carbon storage and landscape restoration and which are also affected or threatened by armed conflicts. The project contributes to reducing CO2, preserving forests, restoring degraded landscapes and improving the quality of life. In this way, it advances the implementation of the national REDD+ strategy and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), while at the same time strengthening peacekeeping activities. The systems are tailored to local conditions. The next step will be to develop strategies for scaling, which will promote the most promising approaches.
State of implementation/results
- All project team members and representatives from implementing partners participated in the project kick-off meeting (March 13-15) held in Colombia.
- The project team officially met three times with MADS representatives for coordination purposes. Additionally, MADS and MADR took part in the project’s kick-off meeting to discuss the regional nodes for the development of Sustainable Land Use Systems, (SLUS) and value chain (VC) upgrading strategies. – The departments of Caquetá and Cesar were prioritized by the project (along with MADS, MADR and ART) as the two regional nodes for piloting SLUS. Similarly, restoration priorities are to be identified in coordination with these institutions.
- The project was publicly launched on March 18 in Bogota, with representatives from the government, international organizations, producer’s organizations, NGOs, embassies and universities attending the event. Participants agreed on the choice of Caquetá and Cesar a regional nodes and identified areas for possible collaboration, such as adopting some of the indicators developed by the "Alto Comisionado para la Paz".
- The implementation of project activities has started. In the near future, it is expected that the project will inform not only Colombia´s climate policy processes, but also global climate dialogues. For instance, the project is informing the government’s efforts and multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms to promote zero-deforestation in agricultural value chains. Specifically, a baseline study on the cocoa sector, developed with the support of the project, is informing the design of the strategy to implement the recently launched Cocoa, Forest, and Peace Initiative.
- The German Thünen Institute carried out a training program for modeling SLUS. This aims to prepare and enhance the institutional capacity for assessing the economic performance of SLUS related to cattle ranching piloted in the project’s priority regions.
- The project staff is participating in the Colombian Roundtable for Sustainable Cattle Ranching in order to contribute to the NAMA for sustainable bovine livestock that is being designed by the Colombian government. The project acts as the Secretary for the zero-deforestation value chain agreement for the dairy sector per the request of the Colombian government. Furthermore, the project is involved in the agreements for zero deforestation in the cacao, dairy and meat value chains. In May 2019, ZALF hosted a workshop in Germany on SLUS and complex scenarios in Colombia. Led also by ZALF, a newly established working group will identify key indicators of environmental peacebuilding.